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Collision Repair/Auto Refinishing Shops

Collision Repair and Auto Refinishing generally means the repair and restoration of an automobile, which usually includes the application of paint to the vehicle. Along with applicable waste and water regulations, Collision Repair and Auto Refinishing Shops may be subject to federal and state environmental regulations concerning air emissions from the paint application processes.

Paints can include pigment or color, which may be made of heavy metals that can be hazardous to human health and the environment. Additionally, paints often contain regulated volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Even an aqueous (water) based paint may contain a certain amount of a regulated VOCs. IDEMs Office of Air Quality (OAQ) provides Automobile Refinishing Rule Information and Guidance  [YouTube] to sources needing to understand or obtain permits for these facilities.

CTAP is available to assist Indiana’s businesses engaged in stationary engines.  Contact CTAP using the CTAP Partner Portal to request help.  It will require setting up a free account through Access Indiana.

Federal Regulation

The U.S. EPA Autobody Rule, 40 CFR 63, Subpart HHHHHH (6H) regulates emissions of hazardous air pollutants (HAPs), specifically, Cadmium, Chromium, Lead, Manganese, Nickel, and Methylene Chloride resulting from overspray during surface coating operations. Owners or operators may petition U.S. EPA for exemption from this regulation if none of the coatings used at their facility contain any of the target HAPs listed above. The petition must be submitted to and approved by the U.S. EPA.

Paint manufacturers have reformulated many of their paint products to eliminate or greatly reduce Cadmium, Chromium, Lead, Manganese and Nickel.  Find out if your business qualifies by taking the quiz using the U.S. EPA 6H Exemption Regulation Navigation Tool.

If you qualify, complete the example petition submitting it to the regional U.S. EPA office which for many of you will be U.S. EPA Region 5 in Chicago (the address is indicated in the document)

Information Required By U.S. EPA For A Petition For Exemption

State of Indiana Regulation

The Indiana state rule for Automobile Refinishing, 326 IAC 8-10, regulates VOC emissions from refinishing processes by limiting VOC content of coatings and requiring work practice standards to limit evaporation of volatile compounds. Following the required work practices of this rule is not only beneficial to the environment, but often saves businesses money by increasing the longevity of solvents or the transfer efficiency of paints.

The CTAP Automobile Refinishing presentation [PPT] identifies both similarities and differences between the two (2) regulations (state and federal), as well as identifying key features of both. Additionally, a presentation [PDF] on the specific aspects of 6H and some elements of 326 IAC 8-10, was created to assist air inspectors when visiting auto body refinishing or collision repair facilities.

Other Resources

Regarding 40 CFR 63, Subpart HHHHHH (6H or the U.S. EPA Autobody Rule), Indiana collaborated with five (5) other states (Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin) to develop informational tools to help autobody shops comply with 6H.

The State of Wisconsin hosts the website where informational tools can be found.

The following resources are available to provide further assistance:

Archive: February 13, 2012

  • Compliance Manual [PDF]
    • For Indiana's Collision Repair and Auto Refinishing shops featuring environmental, fire, and health and safety regulations.